Microsoft hasagreed to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company ofDoomandFalloutstudio Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash.The acquisitionfollows earlier Bethesda games coming to Xbox Game Pass on console and PC, and it gives Microsoft control of upcoming games like the space epicStarfield.Microsoft says future Bethesda games, includingStarfield, will launch on Xbox Game Pass the day they come to Xbox or PC.
The news arrivesjust as Microsoft is gearing up tolaunch two new consoles, the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S. Bethesda had already announced two upcoming PlayStation 5 and PC exclusives: Arkane’sDeathloopand the Tango Gameworks titleGhostwire: Tokyo.Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmedthat Microsoft will honor these timed exclusive deals, but future games will come to non-Xbox platforms on a “case-by-case basis.”
Microsoft will launch its next-generation consoles on November 10th, and preorders open tomorrow. This acquisition also brings the company’s total list of internal studios to 23, following the addition of Bethesda sub-studios likeDishonoreddeveloper Arkane,Wolfensteinstudio MachineGames,Doommaker id Software, andThe Evil Withinstudio Tango Gameworks. However, Microsoft says Bethesda will retain its existing leadership.
“We’re still working on the same games we were yesterday, made by the same studios we’ve worked with for years, and those games will be published by us,” wrote Bethesda marketing head Pete Hinesin a statement.
Updtea 12:00PM ET:Added confirmation that Microsoft will honor existing PlayStation 5 exclusive deals.